Scott Horton Interviews Clive Hamilton

Scott Horton, May 26, 2009

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Clive Hamilton, author of the article “Bush, God, Iraq and Gog” at Counterpunch.org, discusses G.W. Bush’s seemingly sincere desire to fight Iraqi and al-Qaeda incarnations of the biblical bogeymen Gog and Magog, the possibility that the U.S. does indeed fight religious wars and the increasingly diverse but still exclusive Skull and Bones society at Yale.

MP3 here. (22:33)

Clive Hamilton is the former Executive Director of The Australia Institute and a visiting professor at Yale University.

11 Responses to “Clive Hamilton”

  1. The book of Ezekiel, in which the inchoate – but dire – prophecy concerning Gog and Magog appear, and the book of Daniel are primarily focussed on the plight of the Hebrew exiles in the Babylonian captivity. In that context, it is interesting to note that the eventual hero of that episode, the one who repatriates the Hebrew exiles, is the Persian king according to the subsequent book of Isaiah. If Bush followed that thread of the Biblical account (“fundamentalists” seem to jump around selectively rather than following a narrative) this would be a one more possible explanation for the US/British occupation’s lack of concern about the fact that their policies are turning Iraq into an imperial realm of Iran.

    Of course there are more worldly – though often equally murky and mysterious – indications of a collusion with Iran intended to weaken Iraq and destroy its unity and Arabism.

    The history of the US using Iran and Iraq against each other goes back at least as far as the overthrow of the Iraqi monarchy in the late 1950s, and reached the height of Kissingerian duplicity during the Iran-Iraq war, when the US/British/Israeli policy was to support both sides with the intention of prolonging the conflict as long as possible…but it seems we’ve reached a second of these heights more recently.

  2. Read Ezekiel 38 and 39 in the following context:

    Gog – (Hebrew: high or mountain) The ruler of Magog, Machech,and Tubal ( three of the sons of Japeth, the 2nd son of Noah). Japeth (Hebrew: fair) is the progenitor of the white races (the West, formerly known as Christendom). Noah prophesied concerning Japeth that God would enlarge (strengthen) him and he would “dwell in the tents of Shem”. That is there would be a time in history when God would work His plan of redemption primarily through the descendants of Japeth. Shem is, of course, identified with primarily with the Hebrews, the chosen people of God.

    Magog (Hebrew: “of Gog”), Machech, and, Tubal – The West, formerly known as Christendom

    The Mountains of Israel – The West, formerly known as Christendom

    A Land Restored from the Sword (Ezekiel 38:8) – America

    Forget Bush, Jack Van Impee, and such childish pop theology. The Gog/Magog discourse is central to what is being played out in our time.

  3. Check out Edwin Yamauchi, Foes from the Northern Frontiers (Baker Books, 1982). He shows pretty clearly that the foes Ezekiel talks about were the Scythians who conquered Iran, 7th century BC. Gog is the Gyges of Greek historians and Magog is his kingdom, Lydia. Yamauchi is a pretty conservative person and a big frog in the Evangelical pond, but not a Dispensationalists nut-burger (unlike Bush, Haggee and a lot of others).

    Lester Ness
    Kunming
    China

  4. The GW Bush would believe the standard Fundamentalist beliefs, including dispensationalism, is hardly surprising. I’ve assumed so for the last 8 years. I’ve always assumed that fulfilling prophecy was one of the things in mind when the war in Iraq was planned. I’m sure there were other motives, too, like stealing the oil or putting the “unitary executive” theory into action. But the Rapture, the Second Coming, is part of the mental furniture of tens of millions of Americans. It’s not crazy, just starting from a different sort of presuppositions.

    Lester Ness
    Kunming
    China

  5. You’re all nuts!

  6. Mike R., I hope your message was meant as a joke, because if this represents the American way of reading the bible, it is truly chilling!

    Would it be a good idea if the US would make a proper university theological education mandatory for anyone who wants to try their hand a being a preacher in that country? They should at least get to know about proper techniques of text criticsm and knowledge of the context in which these ‘prophesies’ were written. Maybe this could repair the present state of affairs in which a large portion of the American people (including a president!) takes this stuff literally, and becomes a danger to the world.

  7. Sounds nice, Elisabeth, but it won’t happen. Proper techniques of text criticism and knowledge of the context are certainly available (like in my old mentor Yamauchi’s books) but the people who need them most will damn them as “liberal.” The Dispensationalists (aka Armaggedonites) *want* to believe this stuff. Millenialist nut theories have been appealing to Christians for 2000 years. They want to escape the problems of life, not cope with them or solve them.

  8. Elizabeth Said:

    “Maybe this could repair the present state of affairs in which a large portion of the American people (including a president!) takes this stuff literally, and becomes a danger to the world.”

    I do not interperate this literally. This is all symbolism. The discourse is economic and monetary. Military symbolism is used as that is what the prophet was familiar with. The Bible is very much an economic treatice.

  9. [...] a little discussion on that at Antiwar Radio, run time almost 23 [...]

  10. Mike R. should become an American theologian as he’d fit right in with them and with the televangelists whom the theologians like to try to emulate. Mike R. got it totally wrong when he said that Japheth is the progenitor of the white races. If you look at Gen. 10 you’ll see that Ashkenaz was a grandson of Japheth, hardly of the light skinned peoples, who was himself the progenitor of the Ashkenazi false Jews, false not only in the sense of their ancestry, but false in regard to their religion as well.

    Ephriam and Manasseh are the progenitors of the blonde haired and blue eyed peoples, as can be seen by tracing the migration and anthropology of the Celts > Scotch/Irish, Welsh, English, > and the blond haired and blue eyed Algonquin and Iroquis Indians, etc. The tribe of Dan was also light skinned and who settled the Denmark area.

    Mike R. is truly qualified as an American theologian, as what he says chimes in perfectly with the ridiculous rants of false teachers like John Hagee and Pat Robertson, both of whom are self-appointed theologians who have gotten rich by telling lies. Maybe Mike could join up with one of their teams and ride their coat tails into the land of abundant riches. All he’d have to do is to continue teaching the things he is already teaching and he’d be good to go.

  11. DumbGoyNotSays

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    ——————————————————————————–
    Easton’s Bible Dictionary
    Wide spreading: “God shall enlarge Japheth” (Hebrews Yaphat Elohim le-Yephet, Genesis 9:27. Some, however, derive the name from yaphah, “to be beautiful;” hence white), one of the sons of Noah, mentioned last in order (Genesis 5:32; 6:10; 7:13), perhaps first by birth (10:21; Comp. 9:24). He and his wife were two of the eight saved in the ark (1 Peter 3:20). He was the progenitor of many tribes inhabiting the east of Europe and the north of Asia (Genesis 10:2-5). An act of filial piety (9:20-27) was the occasion of Noah’s prophecy of the extension of his posterity.

    After the Flood the earth was re-peopled by the descendants of Noah, “the sons of Japheth” (Genesis 10:2), “the sons of Ham” (6), and “the sons of Shem” (22). It is important to notice that modern ethnological science, reasoning from a careful analysis of facts, has arrived at the conclusion that there is a three-fold division of the human family, corresponding in a remarkable way with the great ethnological chapter of the book of Genesis (10). The three great races thus distinguished are called the Semitic, Aryan, and Turanian (Allophylian). “Setting aside the cases where the ethnic names employed are of doubtful application, it cannot reasonably be questioned that the author [of Genesis 10] has in his account of the sons of Japheth classed together the Cymry or Celts (Gomer), the Medes (Madai), and the Ionians or Greeks (Javan), thereby anticipating what has become known in modern times as the `Indo-European Theory,’ or the essential unity of the Aryan (Asiatic) race with the principal races of Europe, indicated by the Celts and the Ionians. Nor can it be doubted that he has thrown together under the one head of ‘children of Shem’ the Assyrians (Asshur), the Syrians (Aram), the Hebrews (Eber), and the Joktanian Arabs (Joktan), four of the principal races which modern ethnology recognizes under the heading of `Semitic.’ Again, under the heading of `sons of Ham,’ the author has arranged `Cush’, i.e., the Ethiopians; `Mizraim,’ the people of Egypt; `Sheba and Dedan,’ or certain of the Southern Arabs; and `Nimrod,’ or the ancient people of Babylon, four races between which the latest linguistic researches have established a close affinity” (Rawlinson’s Hist. Illustrations).

    <>

    ——————————————————————————–
    Easton’s Bible Dictionary
    Wide spreading: “God shall enlarge Japheth” (Hebrews Yaphat Elohim le-Yephet, Genesis 9:27. Some, however, derive the name from yaphah, “to be beautiful;” hence white), one of the sons of Noah, mentioned last in order (Genesis 5:32; 6:10; 7:13), perhaps first by birth (10:21; Comp. 9:24). He and his wife were two of the eight saved in the ark (1 Peter 3:20). He was the progenitor of many tribes inhabiting the east of Europe and the north of Asia (Genesis 10:2-5). An act of filial piety (9:20-27) was the occasion of Noah’s prophecy of the extension of his posterity.

    After the Flood the earth was re-peopled by the descendants of Noah, “the sons of Japheth” (Genesis 10:2), “the sons of Ham” (6), and “the sons of Shem” (22). It is important to notice that modern ethnological science, reasoning from a careful analysis of facts, has arrived at the conclusion that there is a three-fold division of the human family, corresponding in a remarkable way with the great ethnological chapter of the book of Genesis (10). The three great races thus distinguished are called the Semitic, Aryan, and Turanian (Allophylian). “Setting aside the cases where the ethnic names employed are of doubtful application, it cannot reasonably be questioned that the author [of Genesis 10] has in his account of the sons of Japheth classed together the Cymry or Celts (Gomer), the Medes (Madai), and the Ionians or Greeks (Javan), thereby anticipating what has become known in modern times as the `Indo-European Theory,’ or the essential unity of the Aryan (Asiatic) race with the principal races of Europe, indicated by the Celts and the Ionians. Nor can it be doubted that he has thrown together under the one head of ‘children of Shem’ the Assyrians (Asshur), the Syrians (Aram), the Hebrews (Eber), and the Joktanian Arabs (Joktan), four of the principal races which modern ethnology recognizes under the heading of `Semitic.’ Again, under the heading of `sons of Ham,’ the author has arranged `Cush’, i.e., the Ethiopians; `Mizraim,’ the people of Egypt; `Sheba and Dedan,’ or certain of the Southern Arabs; and `Nimrod,’ or the ancient people of Babylon, four races between which the latest linguistic researches have established a close affinity” (Rawlinson’s Hist. Illustrations).

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